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quently, that they did not believe her to be God eternal.
But then again, if the rule be good which part of our proofs depend upon, That whatever Epiphanius denies in this discourse, that the Collyridians held (for upon that ground from—Non ut Deum hanc efficeret; et non tamen Deus, you conclude they believed her God); if, I say, this rule be good, then you should be constant to it; and now that he says-Non tamen aliter genita est præter hominum naturam, (she was not begotten in a different way from other men) you should infer, that they believed not that she was God, but that she was otherwise born and begotten than the ordinary sort of men. And so whereas he says before, Non tamen corpus de cœlo tulit (her body was not from heaven), you should infer, that they believed her body came from heaven. And again, from those-Sanctum erat Mariæ corpus, non tamen Deus, you should collect, that they thought not only her person, but her body, to be God; or if these be wild and weak deductions, then you must acknowledge that I have done yours some favour in vouchsafing them a particular answer.
5. Demand. Whether in the church of Rome it be not an approved and perpetually practised worship of the blessed Virgin, that incense, which was never anciently offered unto any, either by Jews or gentiles, but to the true, or to a supposed true God, and tapers, and divers other oblations, should be offered to her honour?
Ans. A practice of the church of Rome, and approved too by those that practise it, belongs not to her, except it be a practice of the church, and approved by her. What her practice is abroad, I
know not; here at home I see no such practice; nor do I know any approbation of it in any of her public declarations: but this I know, that there is nothing in it unlawful, or favouring of the Collyridian superstition, to offer wax tapers, or any other thing, to the memory of the blessed Virgin, or any other canonized saint, either as means to procure their intercession, by these outward signs of the honour and devotion which they bear to them, (as of old we find by St. Augustine * they did use to adorn their tombs with flowers) or as monuments of their thankfulness for some benefits received by their intercession, as Theodoret † tells us of eyes, and ears, and hands, some of silver, (hung up in the chapels of the saints) that had been presented as oblations by those that had recovered health in those members, according to their vows made to that purpose in time of sickness.
Reply. I do not deny, but a practice may be tolerated in a church, and not approved; as the public stews are in Italy, and usury in England: but it is one thing to tolerate with condemnation, another to tolerate without condemnation, nay, with condemnation of those that should oppose or condemn it. And such, I doubt not, upon examination, you may find in this practice, general in the church of Rome, offering tapers to the saints, and for their honour: I say, not only to God, at
Ad aquas Tibilotanas Episcopo offerente projecto, reliquias martyris gloriosissimi Stephani, ad ejus memoriam veniebat magnæ multitudinis concursus et occursus: ibi cæca mulier, ut ad episcopum portantem pignora sacra duceretur, oravit: Flores, quos ferebat, dedit; recepit, oculis admovet, protinus vidit. August. de Civit. Dei, 1. 22. c. 8.-Abscedens aliquid de altari (S. Stephani) florum, quod occurrit, tulit. Idem ibid. &c.
†Theodoretus de curandis affect. Græc. 1. 8.
the memories of the saints, as you would mince the matter, which yet were a groundless superstition (God having appointed no such sacrifice to be offered to him under the gospel); but to the saints themselves, and to their honour. Prove this lawful for either of those purposes you mention, either to procure their intercession, or as monuments of thankfulness for benefits obtained by it, and then you shall do something. Otherwise you will but trifle, as now you have done for instead of telling us what may be done de jure, you tell us what of old has been done de facto. As if ab antiquo and a principio were all one; or as if the church (as we pretend) being subject to corruption, part of this corruption might not possibly have come in St. Augustine's or Theodoret's time: yet this I say, not as if I would decline the trial of this cause by St. Augustine or Theodoret; but because I am sure you will not be tried by the fathers, no, not the consent of fathers in all things; and therefore there is no reason nor equity in the world, that you should serve yourselves with their authority in any thing.
But now what is it, which was done in St. Augustine's time, that may justify the practice of the Roman church? Was there then any approved offering of wax tapers and incense to the queen of heaven, or any other saint? Nil horum: you neither do, nor can, produce any thing out of St. Augustine to this purpose. But what then is it? Why forsooth, they were used to adorn their tombs: Egregiam vero laudem et spolia ampla: of old in St. Augustine's time they were used to adorn their tombs with flowers, therefore we may offer tapers to them. Truly an excellent enthymeme,
but I fear the concealed proposition, which should make it a syllogism, hides its head for shame, and dares not appear; yet we will for once make bold to draw it forth into light, that you may look upon it and tell us how you like it. This therefore it is
Whose soever tombs we adorn, to them and to their honour we may offer wax tapers.
Consider it, I pray you, and if you approve it, then approve also of offering tapers, not only to canonized saints, but to all Christians that may have monuments in churches. For all their tombs may be adorned with more precious and lasting ornaments than flowers; yet if you had proved but this only, that in St. Augustine's time, they adorned the saints' tombs with flowers, by these outward signs to procure their intercession; this, though not much to the purpose, had been not absolutely to delude us. But your quoted places prove not so much as this; and yet I believe you quoted the best you could find. Nay, they prove not that they did adorn their tombs with flowers at all, much less that they did it for your pretended purpose; such fools you think to deal with, that will take any thing for any thing. Your first place, I say, proves it not, unless out of mere courtesy we understand by ferebat, she brought to adorn St. Stephen's tomb.
The second proves it not, unless we give you leave after altari (without warrant from St. Augustine) to put in S. Stephani; whereas I am yet to seek for any place in St. Augustine, where he calls any altar the altar of such or such a saint; which yet I think they forbore, not for the unlawfulness, but for fear of misconstruction.
Then for Theodoret, he tells us indeed of vows made, of monuments of thankfulness dedicated for benefits obtained by the intercession of the martyrs. But here also I fear your conscience tells you, that you abuse us, and hide yourself in ambiguities. For to whom does Theodoret say these Vows were made? To whom were those monuments of thankfulness dedicated? What, to the author or procurers of the received favours? To God, or to the martyrs? If to the martyrs, that had been something towards, though not home, to your purpose: for there is a wide difference between offering of a creature by way of consumption (as was never lawfully done but to God alone, as a profession that he is Lord of the creature) and erecting a permanent monument to a saint's honour; which I doubt not but it may lawfully be done to a living saint, much more to the memory of a martyr. But Theodoret in the place hath not so much as this: nay, it is evident that these gifts he speaks of, were both vowed and paid to God himself. His words are-Pie precatos ea consequi, &c. that they who pray piously, obtain the things which they desire; they paying of their vowed presents in the sign of their recovered health, doth abundantly testify. For their Lord accepts most graciously these presents, how mean
6. Demand. Whether, according to the doctrine of the Roman church, this may not be done lawfully by women and children, and men that are not priests?
Ans. They may offer any thing by way of gifts and presents, by the doctrine of the Roman church; but it is contrary to the Roman doctrine,